HC Deb 30 April 1850 vol 110 cc977-8

said, according to the Trade and Navigation Account No. 59, ordered to be printed on the 15th of February, 1850, there appeared as entered for home consumption during the twelve mouths of the year 1849—

Wheat 4,509,626 qrs.
Wheat flour, reduced to 1,123,491 qrs.
5,633,117 qrs.
During the month of January, 1849, the duty (being at the rate of 10s. per quarter) received upon wheat and wheat flour amounted to 49,639l., which represented an entry for home consumption of 99,278 quarters. Now if these 99,278 quarters were deducted from the total entries for the year 1849 (5,633,117 quarters), there remained 5,533,839 quarters, which paid a duty of only 1s. per quarter, amounting to 276,692l.; add to this amount the duty received in January, 1849, 49,639l.; total duty received in the year 1849, 326,331l. while the amount of duty stated as having been actually received upon wheat and wheat flour in the return No. 146, September, 1850, amounted only to 300,747l, leaving a deficiency of 25,584l., which at the rate of 1s. per quarter represented an unaccounted for entry for home consumption of 511,680 quarters. Again, the quantity of wheat and flour entered for home consumption according to the Trade and Navigation Account No. 102, September, 1849, was in January, 1849, 914,793 quarters, which at the then existing rate of duty (10s. per quarter) must have produced a revenue of 457,397l., a sum exceeding by 156,650l. the whole amount of duty stated as having been received during the whole year 1849 in the return No. 146 of Session 1850. Could the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade afford any explanation of these inconsistencies?


said, the hon. Gentleman having given him notice of the question, he had communicated with the Board of Customs on the subject, and he had been furnished with a detailed statement which, he thought, would remove from the mind of the hon. Member his impression that there were discrepancies in the returns to which he referred. The statement was too long to trouble the House with, but he would hand it to the hon. Gentleman. There was one point, however, which he would explain to the House, as that upon which the whole point, he believed, turned, and which would, therefore, operate as a clue to the hon. Gentleman in investigating the supposed inaccuracies. The monthly period for which the account was stated commenced on the 5th of January, and terminated on the 5th of February. The duty was 10s. per quarter until the 31st of January only; after that date it was reduced to 1s. per quarter by the new Act; and, until this reduction took effect, the entries were almost wholly suspended. The receipt of 49,639l. represented, in fact, therefore, an aggregate cousumption within the month of 913,544 quarters, instead of 99,278 quarters.


thought it would be more satisfactory to the House if the right hon. Gentleman would print the detailed statement of which he spoke with the Votes.


said, that if, after reading it privately, the hon. Gentleman was not perfectly satisfied with it, he would then have the statement printed with the Votes.

Subject dropped.